Fox News Tells Media Matters to Stop Making Tucker Carlson More Popular

Tucker Carlson on the set of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," August 2022. CREDIT: Screenshot

All week, Media Matters has been posting videos of Tucker Carlson speaking with his show staffers off-camera, in what seems like an attempt to harm his reputation even though they’ve had the exact opposite effect. And now it seems that the folks at Fox News want it to stop: Friday morning attorneys for the media conglomerate sent a cease and desist letter to MMFA.

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Wilson Sonsini attorney Christopher Chiou states:

We write on behalf of FOX Corporation to clarify any misunderstandings Media Matters may have had regarding previously unaired footage that Media Matters has published in a series of articles headlined “FOXLEAKS.” That unaired footage is FOX’s confidential intellectual property; FOX did not consent to its distribution or publication; and FOX does not consent to its further distribution or publication. This proprietary material was given to you without FOX’s authorization. FOX demands that Media Matters cease and desist from distribution, publication, and misuse of Fox’s misappropriated proprietary footage ,which you are now on notice was unlawfully obtained. We reserve all rights and remedies.

Now, there are a couple of possibilities here. It’s been noted that since the footage originated at Fox, it was most likely leaked from someone working there. But we don’t know how many people had copies of these videos, and it’s conceivable that someone who once worked on the show made copies before leaving. Whoever leaked them, though, had been keeping up with off-air conversations to know which snippets they thought would most harm Tucker’s reputation.

It’s also possible that someone currently working there leaked them without the knowledge of higher-ups, and once it was known just how impactful the videos have been – and not in a good way for Fox – those higher-ups took action. And, it’s possible that the leaks were part of a retaliation strategy by Fox executives and now they have to save face in some way, especially since they’ve learned the hard way that emails and text messages are discoverable in litigation.

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Also Friday we learned that Carlson’s contract with the network goes through 2024, since text messages between Tucker and Bret Baier from November 2020 were leaked (in which Carlson expresses concern that Fox News Channel will lose viewers due to its Election 2020 coverage) stating that Tucker has “four more years” with the network.

Of all the videos in the FOXLEAKS series, Media Matters is likely the most butthurt over this one, in which Tucker tells the lefty propaganda org to “go f**k yourselves” after joking that someone’s girlfriend is “kinda yummy.”

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